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“Yes, it is big, but wow, what a resort!”

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IBEROSTAR Paraiso Del Mar
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Easton, Maryland
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Yes, it is big, but wow, what a resort!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2011

We were at the Paraiso del Mar from 01/07-01/14/11. We had previously stayed at Iberostar resorts in the DR, and pretty much knew what to expect. We had read reviews on Trip Advisor, so we were aware of some of the positives and negatives.

Here are the positives:
1. The room was very nice, and the minibar was well-stocked. We requested "Coke Light", and that's what we got. We were also traveling with my sister-in-law and her husband. We all agreed that the beds were fine--not too hard and we didn't need any additional tops.
2. The food was excellent. We ate twice at the Mediterranean and once at the Brazilian. The appetizers were definitely the star at the Brazilian, although the meal was fine--we like our meat rarer than they served it. The Mediterranean was great. The bream fish cooked in the salt shell was one of the best dishes I have ever had. The prawns on the appetizer buffet were gigantic and delicious.
3. The buffet was fine. There was a different theme every night. The "Mexican" night was lovely. The four of us agreed the food was very good.
4. The ice cream served in the buffet and at the beach grill was the best ice cream we have ever had. My husband and I gained five pounds just from all the ice cream we had.
5. We had appetizers at the Tapas bar our first night there. It was very nice and very different.
6. The drinks were good. I never had a problem with getting a weak drink, but then again, I know to ask for a double shot. If you think the drink is too weak, just ask them to put more booze in.
7. The grounds were absolutely gorgeous. I enjoyed watching the coatis run around. So cute. The exotic birds were so colorful and raucus. I loved it.
8. The ocean was beautiful, as beautiful as the Caribbean at the Hacienda Dominicus in the DR.

Here are the negatives:
1. This is not a problem with the resort, but rather our personal feelings. When you get off the plane in La Romana or Punta Cana, it is so wonderful to feel that warm air blast you. (We always go in the winter, so we like the contrast from home.) The Cancun airport is basically a big city airport and you don't have that same feeling, since you go through the tunnel to get into the terminal.
2.Paraiso del Mar is very, very large, and in spite of the train and golf carts, I really would not recommend it to anyone who has a problem walking a lot.
3.The rooms are older and could use a little updating, but we spent so little time in the room, this was not a big deal to us. Our TV was ancient, but once again, we did not go there to watch TV.
4. Anyone with children would probably be better off at the Paraiso Beach. We liked the beach at our end of the resort complex, but you really couldn't swim in front of our side. If we wanted to go in the ocean, we had to walk down to the Paraiso Beach. One advantage of where we were (near Dressel Divers) was we never had any trouble getting lounge chairs or umbrellas.
5. This is not a negative of the resort, but rather Mexico in general. We are not big tequila or Kahlua fans. We like the Dominican rum, so we missed bringing home cheap rum, since the prices for rum in Mexico were what we pay at home.
6. IB needs to get a better house wine. It is pretty rot-gut. If you want wine, stick with champagne (which was fine). When we were at the Mediterranean, the waiter actually went and got us a bottle for the table(no extra charge).
7. Again, not the resort's fault, but it did cool down at night. Take a hoodie or light jacket along (we never had to do this in the DR, even in January and February). I was glad I had my jacket most nights.

We took a diving excursion to Cozumel one day, and had a chance to check out the IB resort there. It was nice, but the beach was non-existent. If you wanted to snorkel off the beach, you could swim out from the shore and do that, but do not expect to frolic in the surf.

I would definitely go back again, but I think the IB Hacienda Dominicus is calling us for next year.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank PhyllisM0523
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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karebear12
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2011

My husband and I went to Iberostar Pariaso Del Mar Jan 16-23. We booked through Apple vacations and as other reviewers commented, felt that Apple was well run and organized.

The weather that was predicted was rain/storms 5 of the 7 days of our stay. However, it ended up only raining for approx 1 hour on the first day we arrived and another hour or two in the evening, when it didnt really matter. So not sure if we just lucked out or somehow, their forecasters are not very accurate in Mexico.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this resort. We had booked this trip knowing we wanted to pay less but still have a resort that was decent. We were served fruit juice and offered an appetizer while checking in. The check in was well organized and despite arriving at noon, they accommodated us with a room that was ready. We stayed in building 17 which was mid-way between the lobby and beach area.

There were a lot of comments about how much walking this resort requires. I didnt find this to be a big issue. Yes if you walk from the lobby to the beach, back to the lobby, that could get tiring, but I found there to be really no amount of walking that was just unbearable. In many ways, after laying in a beach chair or cabana all day, a little exercise was welcome.

Food--We ate at the Mexican, Japanese, Mediterranean and Steakhouse restaurants. Would recommend all of them except for the Mexican. Japanese was spectacular and I enjoyed my steak and lobster at Mediterranean and steak at the steak house.
The buffets do get a little old but they are trying to cater to the masses, I suppose.
One word of caution--first day, first meal was a stop at the snack buffet for lunch. Made myself a fajita. Bit in and the onions apparently had hot peppers in there (which I just assumed would be mild). Yes, hello, NOT mild! HOt, Hot, burning my eardrums hot! A sign cautioning spiciness would have been nice. But this dumb American has learned her lesson :) (Glass of milk, cuts the heat.)
-As commented earlier, book your reservations for the restaurants as soon as you can. The Brazilian was already full the entire week upon our arrival, although we were told we could check for cancellations for reservations after 4pm each day-we never bothered to.

Beach- beautiful beach. nice smooth sand, Hammocks available and plenty of lounge chairs. Water was clear and maybe it was the time of year we went but there were not many little annoying fish swimming around (that bothered me a lot when we stayed in Riu Playacar--tons of fish always rubbing up on your legs...eek!)
-not sure what the rules were on being topless but we did not observe any toplessness on the beach (compared to other beached in Playa Del Carmen.) The pools dont allow topless.

Pool--yes its cold water but it did warm up a bit and you can swim once you get used to it. The review that said it was "techno" music all day at the pool--um, no its not. Its normal fun music (I'm 32 years old) and pretty much its music that you would hear on Vh1. Also, there is a quiet pool that doesnt have music that non-techno listening people can mosey on over to.
There were plenty of pool chairs available each and every time we went to the pool. We did NOT have to reserve them at 8am as another reviewer mentioned (again maybe based on the time of year we went). Also, they have a few scattered cabanas throughout with large outdoor pads to lie on under the shade of a thatched roof hut, about the size of a queen mattress, by the pool...there are maybe 10 of them total. And while they were usually occupied, almost every time that we wanted one, we could walk about and find one that was recently vacated.

Shopping--wah, wah, wahhh... big bummer. They have a nice shopping center with stores that sell jewelry, t-shirts, ponchos and hats. B-O-R-I-N-G. But I wasnt there to shop really anyway.

Entertainment--Pretty darn good! There is a show every night at 9:45pm. Star Friends are the most energetic and friendly people. They work their butts off to put on some decent entertainment. The Italian Star Friend, Erica---never seen a person with so much energy!
-Karaoke on Tuesday night was very entertaining!

Disco--forgot what it was called but it is hysterically outdated. Themed after Star Wars, the only cool part are the two steel doors that slide open to allow you to enter. And thats where the coolness ends. Lets just say theres a Yoda on the second floor. Disco opens at 11pm. They played some decent music for a few songs but then switched over to Mexican pop music which I am not familiar with. There are black leather couches on the perimeter of the club for apparently single guys who miss their leather couches at home. So overall, the club is not the best but having a good time probably depends on the music they play and the number of people there on any given night.

Drinks--about the same level as the buffet food. Not great, but passable.

Rooms--I can only compare my experience with Riu Playacar but the rooms at Iberostar Del Mar seemed much newer. Electronic safes allowed you to create your own pin number. The room did NOT smell musty which is in contrast to a very musty room at RIU.
The shower/bathroom was newer and not too dark.
-I brought my own pillow from home because I read reviews that the pillows were flat. There were 4 pillows available for the 2 of us, plus 2 additional pillows in the closet so I'm sure if you piled up enough of them, they wouldnt be too flat.
-Beds are huge and hard. Husband had a back ache one of the nights. I slept well.

Our maids made very nice towel arrangements for us each day. We did tip quite excessively because I'm sure they do not make much in wages.

Location--Having stayed at Riu Playacar previously which is walking distance from downtown, staying out in the middle of nowhere is somewhat of a drawback if you just wanted to just casually stroll into town. But there are cabs available.

Safety--With all of the news about Mexicos safety issues, I was worried about traveling and getting beheaded/killed/abducted. However, after going, I must say that I felt very safe here and our resort was the first shuttle stop from the airport. Too bad all of Mexico gets a bad wrap when it is just some pockets of crime.

*******
I would recommend this resort. It is very clean, quiet and well-run. Beautiful beach and huge pool. Good entertainment and friendly staff.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank karebear12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2011

We were originally booked to stay in Barcelo Costa Cancun but werent told it was the busiest spring break hotel in Cancun! After one night of hell we begged our English tour rep, who was very sympathetic, to get us out of there! She transferred us to the paradise that was Iberostar Paraiso del Mar! We were amazed: fountains in the lobby, flamingos and other exotic animals scattered around the resport, best swimming pools ever, huge powdery white beach. We will definately return to the same hotel as our stay was amazing!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sullyship
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Littleton
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2011

PROS: beautiful grounds, beautiful beach, good staff, some good food, spacious jr. suite, cool wildlife on grounds, very good Japanese restaurant, nice resort, but....we've stayed at Barcelo Caribe and it was better

CONS: loud techno music all day at big area of pool, lots of same foods at buffets, walkways too narrow(had to walk single file when others were coming other way which was most of the time), Japanese only good alacart restaurant, water gardens/ponds dirty on bottom, small bathroom in Jr. suite, pads on lounge chairs need to be replaced, Dressel divers who run sailboat consession were helpful on purchasing trips but unhelpful when it came to getting free(included in package) sailboats, only 3 sailboats not in disrepair, Dressel Divers way overrepresnted what we'd see on our snorkel trip. fruit flies in Italian restaurant, nightly entertainment same loud techno music every night (different version/same thing), "Del Mar/Beach" area can have over 1/2 mile walk to beach or buffets

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travel4me1911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex, Vermont
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2011

This was a "girls" getaway, our first time to an all-inclusive and it was great! The hotel staff were very accomidating, the facility was immaculately clean, our room was large, quiet and comfortable, the beach was gorgeous, the food and drink was not the BEST but it was good and there was more than enough choices. The hotel is quite large but we did not mind the walking. We were upgraded to a beachfront room, very lucky. Didn't spend much time at the pool as the beach was just too beautiful, staff bringing drinks to us as we laid under the thatched umbrella's, and a lunch buffet right there. Heavenly! Stayed up for one of the evenings of live entertainment, it was fun!
Booking tours at the hotel was easy, although we would not recommend the "free dinner" at Senior Frog's in Playa del Mar, a tour booking perk, it is a "special menu", not good. We did the Tulum Extreme tour, (Extreme Tours?) booked through the Olympus desk, it was a lot of fun! A morning visit to Tulum followed by ziplining, rappelling, snorkeling a cenote, and a very good Mexican lunch. Very well run. We did a half day snorkel trip which was also good. Went with another tour group but wished we had learned about the trips offered by the dive shop first. Took public transport van (Cooperativo) from just outside the grounds into Playa Del Mar, only $2 each and well worth the shopping trip into town.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dorfs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2011

I Stayed at the Paraiso del Mar on at work trip with 100 colleagues during 4 days at the beginning of January, 2011. The resort was HUGE, but once you situated yourself it was definitely easy to navigate. The beach was amazing, it was probably one of the nicer beaches that I’ve been to on an all-inclusive trip. The food was decent (which is to be expected on any all-inclusive getaway). The only 2 things that I would complain about would be the beds (super uncomfortable) and the bar tenders. The bartenders seemed to be a little stand-offish at times, and really seemed to despise serving their patrons... nothing a few bucks wouldn't fix. All in all, I had an amazing stay at this resort and would definitely recommend it!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank torontosfinest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
73 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2011

Here is my check list:
Ocean view is rare (only 1 building out of 10 has ocean view the rest look into bushes. )
Rooms are ok a bit on smaller side.
Pool: water was very cold, compare to water in the ocean
Food: selection and quality way below other resorts we've been to, The only bright spot was the ice cream.
Entertainment was pretty good quality compare to other places that includes kids club.
Gym: pretty far away it is shared by at least 3 other hotels and very busy at times.
Jacuzzi in the gym area was not hot at all and steam room did not work, Sauna was available for additional fee.
Grounds are nice and the beach has sandy spot with no rocks, Kind of rare thing in Cancun area.
WiFi was only available in the lobby for $16 a day. Some other places offer it at no charge.
I could not get dissent coffee there at all.
The stuff was nice for the most part. But slow. simple thing like towels takes 2-3 hours to get. Front desk is not very helpful.
In short: I will not come back to this particular property and will not recommend any of my friends. Iberostar has pretty good resorts, Del Mar is not one of them

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mmikH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about IBEROSTAR Paraiso Del Mar

Property: IBEROSTAR Paraiso Del Mar
Address: Carretera Chetumal - P. Juarez, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#6 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#7 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#8 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — IBEROSTAR Paraiso Del Mar 3.5*
Number of rooms: 388
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Directly on the beach of "Playa Paraíso" (Mexico). High standard of comfort. Wide gastronomic variety. 18-hole golf course. PAD/SSI – diving school, massage at the beach and the pool. Spa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar Hotel Playa Paraiso
Iberostar Playa Paraiso
Iberostar Hotel Playa Paraiso
Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar Mexico
IBEROSTAR Paraiso Del Mar Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico

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